Two pro-democracy activists charged under the national security law have announced their resignation from their political party posts following over two months of being held in custody.
Lam Cheuk-ting’s team announced on Facebook that the former lawmaker had resigned as the deputy chairperson of the Democratic Party on Monday, as he has been remanded in custody since late February after being charged under the national security law.
Lam was accused of “conspiring to commit subversion” along with 46 other democrats under the Beijing-imposed legislation over his participation in a primary election last July for the now-postponed Legislative Council election. Democrats stood accused of trying to gain a legislative majority to block government bills.
In the Facebook post, Lam’s team shared a letter from former lawmaker where he said that he resigned to “relinquish his post for somebody better qualified,” as the leadership of the Democratic Party was under immense pressure, and decisions have to be made in a timely matter.
“My resignation is purely based on the position’s needs, I will definitely not resign from the Democratic Party because of prosecution,” the post read. “I will keep my party membership, and hopefully when I regain my freedom one day, I can fight for democracy again with you all!”
Lam was elected as the party’s deputy chair in December last year, along with Kwun Tong district councillor Edith Leung.
Another democrat charged under the national security law, Raymond Chan, also announced that he had resigned from his party’s post.
Chan’s sister announced on behalf of the former lawmaker on Sunday that Chan had resigned as the People Power’s chairperson and as a member. Chan also said that he will not participate in any future elections or facilitate any electoral events.
Chan was elected as People Power’s chair in 2016. The veteran activist also announced that he will not participate in any future rallies, gatherings, or protests.
In response, People Power said the party understood and accepted Chan’s decision, and thanked Chan for his “selfless contribution” to the party and the sacrifice he made for the development of democracy in Hong Kong, according to a statement on Facebook published on Sunday.
“People Power was founded in 2011, Raymond Chan has spared no efforts for People Power over the years, and has received the support of Hong Kong citizens,” the post read.
In June 2020, Beijing inserted national security legislation directly into Hong Kong’s mini-constitution – bypassing the local legislature – following a year of pro-democracy protests and unrest. It criminalised subversion, secession, foreign interference and terrorist acts, which were broadly defined to include disruption to public transport and other infrastructure.